According to Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Pirates have elected to call up OF/1B Jose Osuna in the wake of Starling Marte’s suspension.
Osuna posted a robust .407/.492/.759 slash line this Spring, but the lack of Minor League options for Alen Hanson likely played a role in Osuna remaining at AAA Indianapolis to begin the 2017 season. While Osuna has come back down to earth to start the regular season, he continues to put up respectable but not spectacular numbers. For instance, he tantalized fans this spring by hitting a whopping five home runs; however, he has zero in his first forty-five at bats in 2017, which his grade 50 Power tool would suggest is more indicative of the type of bat he is at this point in his development.
Since Osuna isn’t equipped to handle the rigors of center field, this means Andrew McCutchen will return to one of the marquee defensive positions with some combination of Harrison, Frazier and Jaso regularly manning one of the corner outfield spots. It is expected that Osuna will primarily serve as a bench player with his role to be determined by how well his bat handles the transition to Major League pitching.
Perhaps, the more intriguing aspect of this is that if Austin Meadows can put up a strong first half, there’s a clear path to playing time for the superior fielder, especially with the news that Marte would be ineligible for the Postseason should the Bucs qualify.